Katy Perry is wide awake on “Chained to the Rhythm”


“Chained to the Rhythm” is the closest Katy Perry has come to a political statement. Over an italo-disco groove reminiscent of Carly Simon’s “Why”, the singer both condones and condemns a generation adept at blocking out the world’s woes.

Producer Max Martin doesn’t budge from his power-pop formula, swaddling Perry’s epiphanies in pastel synths and slippery bass. At times it even works as a snarky endorsement of cheap escapism (“Put your rose-coloured glasses on, and party on”).

The chorus is wordy and elastic, ending on a clunky hook that betrays Sia’s co-writing credit. Perry’s moral awakening is perhaps best summed up by Skip Marley (grandson of Bob) in a rousing and hopeful verse: “We’re about to riot / they woke up the lions!

4 thoughts on “Katy Perry is wide awake on “Chained to the Rhythm”

  1. So glad I wasn’t the only one who thought the hook was super clunky and oddly worded! It just didn’t fit with the beat don’t you think?

    1. I agree, it’s not a classic singalong chorus. Yet I do find the discordant phrasing helps convey a sense of anger, which isn’t an emotion you often find on a Katy Perry single. I also think Katy’s voice is so airy and lightweight that even though her melody doesn’t quite match the beat, she still blends into the luxurious mix quite well. That’s why it’ll be a hit.

      1. That’s actually a really good point I hadn’t thought about the fact that the weird phrasing may be intentional. Great insight! By the way man, I’d love to have you share this post and your other articles in our growing Facebook community for music fans and bloggers. Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/groups/musicmoguls/

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